To read Borges, to consume a predictable Borges who no longer
surprises us, has become a habit. By common accord, it would
seem, readers of Borges, with the collaboration perhaps of the
author himself, have turned an unstable text into a solid monu-
ment. What was fragmentary has become stable; critical inquiry, a
mere habit.
Borges is consumed voraciously. The marks that break the
flow of the text and hint at its uncanniness are hastily incor-
porated, in the crudest sense: in order to get rid of them as quickly
as possible. The physical metaphor is not entirely impertinent,
underscoring a voracity that no longer recognizes its true appetite.
Like bodies, readers have become mere passages for the text and
have learned to ignore a critical summons that urges them to read
To undo the habit, to dwell on the text, as one would pause
before what one is about to incorporate, foreseeing pleasure but
also, disquietingly, intuiting strangeness: isn't that what reading is
about? Borges's text is not hospitable; at first, we have trouble just
staying with its initial rejection and our initial distrust, trouble
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